Getting Started with Sequined fabric

Once upon a fabric shopping trip to downtown Los Angeles to meet up with other Cashmerette loving sewists I picked up this amazing olive green gold sequin fabric. It was slinky and an earthy iridescence I couldn’t resist. Have you ever picked up a fabric and loved it so much only to second guess yourself when you got it home. Most fabric purchases are non refundable. This should give me pause in what I purchase, but not this time. I immediately thought bolero or cocoon cardigan.

 

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Cutting sequins

Truth time, I had never sewn with sequined fabric before. It was so beautiful I couldn’t resist, I’m fearless at the register, once it’s on the cutting table the flop sweat starts.

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It’s not a UFO, I was just waiting on the buttons.

when your sewing project has to be put down for a little while.

Have you ever “failed” at a sewing project? Sometimes your project comes together all at once. You find a pattern then the perfect fabric (not your muslin but final garment fabric) then notions are easily procured. Sometimes it’s user error, sometimes its poor pattern fitting, this time it was a notions fail.

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I’m still not sure how to “Summer” style this top but it’s going to be great in the winter

Continue reading “It’s not a UFO, I was just waiting on the buttons.”

The Viewridge and Cleo outfit

a cautionary tale

We all make mistakes, in sewing it can be hard to handle. Perhaps it’s because you have to destroy what you’ve just created. Here is how this outfit started out great but took some perseverance to get finished.

CleoskirtViewridgetopBlogThe event: a birthday party in a suite at the racetrack, with highs in the 80’s or 90’s I can’t remember (I ended up sick with a fever and didn’t get to wear it, whawha). Our going out usually consists of jeans and a nice shirt so this required a bit of a dressier outfit but also something that wouldn’t be too hot in this So Cal heat. I immediately knew what I wanted to make.

I had tested both patterns the View Ridge by Straight Stitch Designs and Cleo Skirt by Made by Rae, for these designers and shopped for fabrics with these specific patterns in mind. I knew what I wanted to use on them before I even paid for them so it seemed like a win before I even began. Oh how pride goes before a fall.

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Reading to kids stories about sewing

Reading to kids stories about sewing is more than just needle and thread.

I still read bedtime stories to my kids, they share a bedroom so sometimes the books we read start with board books and end with a few pages of Harry Potter. I love books and the library, while I no longer horde books like I horde fabrics, books give me a comfort and soothing similar to sewing. I wanted to share some of my love of sewing with my children at bedtime, I found an extra bonus because some of the books gave us some history or dealt with overcoming fears. Continue reading “Reading to kids stories about sewing”

Bespoke Jalie Stretch Jeans

How I made stretch pull on jeans out of one of a kind ice dyed fabric.

I ice dyed some Cone Mills Denim natural color with a 20% stretch for these jeans you can read all about it here. Since I was essentially cutting into a piece of art, I made the fit  version out of black denim also with 20% stretch from JoAnns. The quality in the two different denims was VERY noticeable.

fit vs long crotch

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The Cindy Swim Suit by BurdaStyle

The Cindy Swim Suit by BurdaStyle or my peek a boo suit

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I made this swim suit long before I started blogging my sewing adventures so I have no photographic evidence, I’m pretty sure it was while I was still operating RitualBath, so blogging was natural bath and beauty related. However this swimsuit showed up in my inbox this morning and I wanted to write it a quick love note.

The Cindy from BurdaStyle, when that website was my only outlet for pdf on demand sewing patterns. Oh how far we have come my indies! First off I did have to grade this a bit as I was a size 16-18 at the time. I made it in a gorgeous burgundy swim lycra from JoAnn’s because I didn’t know any better at the time. Before I go into the problem areas and how I think they can be fixed let me just say, I felt SMOKIN HOT in this swim suit.

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Fiber arts: Ice Dye technique

My experience and set up for ice dying a two yard piece of denim for making bespoke jeans.

Disclaimer: The substrate I am dyeing on was a gift from www.sewhere.com all other materials were purchased from the listed suppliers.

Too many months ago my friend Mallory gifted me some Cone Mills Stretch denim in natural to “do something fun” with. She suggested pants or a denim jacket and I knew jeans were where I would be heading. I live in jeans and tee shirts. Maybe it’s my up bringing, Grandaddy used to wear “dungarees” and denim work jackets while he taught us how to grow orange trees in the FL heat. Athletic wear on my body everyday seems like a broken promise, and I have enough mom guilt.

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Back to ice dyeing I took my sweet time figuring out the how and what, gathered many pinterest pins and finally settled on something that could read more floral and less Electric Daisy Carnival. I have shopped with Dharma Trading Co. before, picked up my indigo and some dye fabrics there and I love their website and customer service. I went with four colors: a turquoise, sage green, amber yellow, and orange. When dyeing with ice having a variety of light and dark colors as well as some contrasting colors (colors across from each other on a color wheel) can really enhance the outcome.

Shopping list:

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Shopping with Cashmerette and SoCal Sewists

Curvy So Cal Sewists and Cashmerette invade The Fabric Store LA and Mood LA!

On Cashmerette Pattern’s Facebook group, Jenny Rushmore the creatrix behind Cashmerette put the word out that she was planning an escape of the frozen tundra in Boston and heading to sunny Los Angeles on a buying and defrosting trip. She would graciously share her work vacation time with any So Cal sewing ladies wanting to join in a retail shopping excursion to The Fabric Store LA and Mood LA.

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My lovelies from The Fabric Store LA

I don’t know about anyone else but sewing keeps me away from the outside world, and most times it’s a good meditative practice, so I don’t mind. However my immediate family doesn’t understand the excitement of a well threaded double needle or the reason behind the “WOOHOO” I yell out when the finished stash busting shirt fits well.

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A table with an array of fabrics in a pink color way and in the background the Merino wools!

So the call to join for an afternoon, with others who know the joys and trials of sewing for a bodacious body, I was in.

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Oh you know just some silks in a rainbow display 

If you have never been to Los Angeles, it’s big, like takes 30 – 45 min to get anywhere big. I live in what could be called the suburbs or “the Valley” if you are old enough to remember those movies from the 80’s. Really it could be a city of it’s own hovering at about 1.8 million people (Los Angeles counts that 1.8 in the over all 3.8 million people in the county and city). We came together from surrounding counties some driving an hour to meet up.

It was a great time, swapping stories of pattern makes, alterations and just ohhing and ahhing over all the fun things we were running our hands over.

I highly recommend finding an in-person group to sew or shop with, I know this won’t be my last.